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April 18, 2014 12:37 pm

Cairo Court Rejects Lawsuit to Ban All Israeli Activities in Egypt

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Egyptian protesters burning an Israeli flag in front of the Israli Embassy, in Cairo, in September, 2011. Photo: Screenshot /

Egyptian protesters burning an Israeli flag in front of the Israli Embassy, in Cairo, in September, 2011. Photo: Screenshot /

Cairo’s Court for Urgent Matters said that it does not have jurisdiction to rule on a lawsuit that demanded all Israeli activities be banned in Egypt, Al-Ahram‘s Arabic news website reported on Friday.

The decision contrasts with a March ruling by the same court to, indeed, ban all activities in Egypt by Hamas, across the Egyptian border in Gaza, pending a verdict in a much larger case against the Muslim Brotherhood and its leadership, including ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.

The case against the Muslim Brotherhood accuses them of collaborating with Hamas, Hezbollah and others to smuggle arms, organize military training for group members in Gaza and “fund a scheme to stir chaos and threaten national security in Egypt,” Al-Ahram said.

The lawsuit demanded the closure of the Israeli embassy in Cairo “on the grounds that Israel has been using violence against Palestinians,” Al-Ahram reported, noting that other attempts to ban Israel from Egypt have also flopped.

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Last August, Tamarod – the campaign that spearheaded the 30 June protests which led to Morsi’s ouster – launched an internet petition called ‘Reviving National Sovereignty’ that called on the government to refuse U.S. military and economic aid and annul the 1979 Camp David peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. The Camp David treaty led to the opening of Israel’s embassy in Egypt, the first of its kind in any Arab country, in 1980.

In 2011, after the resignation of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, thousands of protesters stormed the Israeli embassy, in Cairo, in protest of Israeli retaliation in the Sinai against militants who had crossed the border to kill 8 Israelis a month before. The embassy crisis ended when it was evacuated by the Egyptian military.

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